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8/1/2007 – Editorials

By Richard Peterson


The farm bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 231 to 189. It received lots of praise from all quarters, Democrat and Republican alike. Those who praised the passage of the bill were Senators Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad and Rep. Earl Pomeroy, along with Gov. John Hoeven.

On the other hand President Bush, displaying more of the extremely poor judgment and incompetence that has characterized his administration, has threatened to veto the bill if it comes to his desk.

Farmers shouldn’t be surprised. Bush has rewarded his farm belt supporters with betrayal time after time.


Here’s an e-mail I received:

Why are we still there?

I have been a supporter for a long time. But I believe that it is time to re-evaluate US involvement. I’m sorry that a lot of my friends are going to disagree with me, but this is the way I see it now. Every day there are news reports of more deaths. Why are we still there? We see images of death and destruction on TV every night. Why are we still there? We took this land by force. We occupied it. It causes us nothing but trouble.

Why are we still there? Many of our children go there but never come back. Why are we still there? Murderers, rapists, pedophiles and thugs enjoy celebrity status. Why are we still there? Their government is unstable. Why are we still there? Many of their people are uncivilized. Why are we still there? Their land is subject to natural disasters and we are obliged to come to their aid. Why are we still there? They have more than 1,000 religious sects which we do not understand. Why are we still there? Their cultures, foods and diverse ways of life are unfathomable to most ordinary Americans.

Why are we still there? They cannot secure their borders. Why are we still there? They are billions of dollars in debt and it will cost billions more to rebuild. Why are we still there?

It is now quite clear! We must pull out of California now!


After I got the mail on Thursday and determined there was nothing in the mail or on the horizon that required my presence at the Farmers Press the rest of the day, I decided on the spur of the moment to make a big visit to the ND State Fair at Minot.

Admission was $7 for the day. The free stages are worth that alone, but I didn’t have enough time to even take in one free stage, so I wasn’t able to amortize the expense with free stages. I was forced to apply the gate charge to the category of gluttony.

I arrived at the fair at 12:15 p.m. and of course the first stop was at the Ye Olde Sausage stand. I had a Polish sausage with fried onions and heated sauerkraut, along with a dollop of mustard. Six bucks. That’s pretty expensive, but what the heck, it’s the State Fair!

The second stop was also a foregone conclusion. The crispy fries stand. This guy has figured out how to sell potatoes for more than $2 each. A helping of potatoes was $5. He uses an electric drill — I think it’s the same drill he’s had for the past 15 years — to cut the potatoes into thin slices. Then the potatoes are thrown into deep fat for a few minutes and they come out tasting heavenly. As I’ve said before, they’re so good they must be deep fried in pure cholesterol.

The salty potatoes made me thirsty, so I had a lemonade for $3.

I was surprised to find that I was full after drinking the lemonade.

Not only was I surprised, I was sorely disappointed that there was no more room left in my belly to sample the fair food. I fear my license for gluttony is in danger of being revoked.

I walked around and looked at stuff but all the fun was gone from sticking around. After just two hours inside the fairgrounds I took off for home. I spent $21 and had a satisfied belly but the guilt of disappointing my readers with such a feeble report on the fair still weighs heavily on my mind. And the sausage and curly fries weigh heavily on my body.

I hope to do better next year. I want to keep that license for gluttony.


Here’s another item from the e-mails:

An older gentleman was on the operating table awaiting surgery and he insisted that his son, a renowned surgeon, perform the operation. As he was about to get the anesthesia he asked to speak to his son.

"Yes, Dad, what is it?"

"Don’t be nervous, son; do your best and just remember, if it doesn’t go well, if something happens to me . . . your mother is going to come and live with you and your wife."

The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know why I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.

When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.

I don’t know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.

One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.

Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

Old age is when former classmates are so gray and wrinkled and bald, they don’t recognize you.

If you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you are old.

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